Marijuana users have always been crafty, but as cannabis becomes more mainstream and less stigmatized, the opportunities for innovation have exploded, writes Jericho Knopp.
Most people still prefer to get high the old school way (pipes, bongs and joints, for example), but companies are coming up with increasingly creative ways to get a buzz on.
Also, for medical users, this kind of innovation allows people to get symptom relief without hacking up a lung or getting stoned every time they need to medicate. Here are some of the most unusual ways that people are consuming cannabis:
Have you ever eaten one of those Listerine strips that freshen your breath on the go and wondered what it would be like if those could make you high?
If so, you’re in luck. Sublingual strips might be the product for you. They’ve been expanding in popularity over the last few years as people have been looking for more discrete, exact ways to consume cannabis.
Companies like Kin Slips offer them in a number of different strengths and flavors, such as mango and tarragon, with different concentrations of THC and CBD depending on the desired outcome.
It sounds ridiculous, I know. But suppositories are actually one of the most effective ways to reap the benefits of cannabis.
Because the medication is inserted into your rectum, it bypasses the stomach, skin, and other barriers that absorb the THC and CBD and make it less effective.
According to researcher, activist, and founder of Back Door Medicine, Dr. Paula-Noël Macfie, when you take cannabis as a suppository, 80 percent of the medication is absorbed instead of through edibles (35 percent) or smoking (15 percent).
Suppositories can’t really get you head high, though, so don’t think this is your ticket to getting really, really stoned. They are frequently used for medical patients with localized pain or patients who are too sick to eat or smoke.
Continuing with the suppository theme, CBD-infused tampons are also becoming much more common nowadays. People all over the internet are singing the praises of cannabis tampons as a way to stop severe menstrual cramps in their tracks.
Companies like Foria have been offering them for a little while now, and while they are a little pricey, you can also make your own, by following instructions online. No note as to whether they are as effective as those sold at dispensaries though.
Also, important note: the ones sold by Foria are not actually tampons; you need some other kind of menstrual protection. However, they can be worn with regular tampons.
If cigarette smokers can get their nicotine high while trying to quit by using nicotine patches, then surely, the same could happen with cannabis.
A number of companies are breaking into the cannabis patch market, and just like with suppositories, it’s less about getting high, and more about getting relief.
The patch has been around since 2001, and Mary’s Medicinals was one of the first companies to really take advantage of the opportunity. The cannabis patch operates similarly to a nicotine patch, offering a controlled dose throughout the day.
It’s kind of like an edible, but because it soaks into the mouth’s mucous membranes, you don’t really ingest it. Cannabis-infused gum provides relief for a number of symptoms. Plus, it works your jaw muscles.
CanChew Gum is one company that hopes to help you get your daily dose of cannabinoids without having to resort to those boring, normal methods of consumption.
The company was inspired by nicotine replacement gum and offers consumers the ability to access the benefits of CBD and THC without the smell.
I’m not going to lie to you. This one isn’t entirely medical. Or medical at all, even. Cannabis lube, infused with THC and CBD, aims to take the female sexual experience to the next level.
It’s not meant to actually be used as lubricant: according to Foria, the group behind both the original cannabis lubricant as well as the cannabis tampon, the woman should spray it on their labia and clitoris up to 45 minutes before sex to really intensify the feelings.
A number of people that have tried it say that they don’t get high, even though they were worried that they might, but that their sex does feel more intense. Plus, you can use it by yourself, so that’s a nice positive.
Cannabis is a plant, so of course, people have been making tea with it for ages. That’s nothing new, although it can be a little tricky.
But there is so much going on in the realm of cannabis drinks besides tea. Once people figured out how to infuse cold products with cannabis and still maintain the effects using a product called lecithin, innovation really took off.
Now, you can find cannabis sodas, cannabis-infused simple syrup for cocktails, cannabis beer and wines, and even coffee. Really, if you can drink it, somebody’s infused cannabis with it.
Cannabis sprays can be used in all kinds of ways. They can be used for the same function as the lubricants, although that isn’t their main purpose, or topically as muscle relaxants, but most cannabis sprays are meant to be used like sublingual strips.
The Hydropothecary in Canada has created one of the first mint flavored sublingual sprays in the country. Just like the strips, you’ll freshen your breath, and the small, exact dosage allows you to microdose as you need.
The company has both THC and CBD sprays, so you can customize your experience as well.
There’s nothing more relaxing at the end of a long, hard day than a nice soak in a tub. But imagine how much more relaxing that soak would be if you had a bit of THC in the water.
One of the most famous versions, Whoopi and Maya’s Soak, combines epsom salts, essential oils, and cannabis. The company, started by actress Whoopi Goldberg, was originally created to help provide cannabis solutions for ailments people had that weren’t being addressed.
The cannabis bath provides relief for entirely physical symptoms. It acts on your muscles, your skin and the rest of your body without actually getting you high. So, you know, you can sleep easy not thinking you’re going to get stoned through your skin.
The trusty apple pipe
Finally, the DIYers among us will love the one smoke-filled option on this list: the homemade apple pipe. We’ve all been in the situation: you have weed but no way to smoke it. Luckily, there’s a simple solution.
Raid a friend’s fridge for an apple, use a knife to carve some of the core out and make a bowl, and then make the pipe part with the knife or a pen, making sure to poke all the way through for your choke. Voila, a pipe.